Watching nature is both fascinating and calming while creating entertaining teaching moments for children both in the watching and in the making! A quick note about the following recipe, you can omit the corn syrup and flour if you want to, but you’ll need to use boiling water with the gelatin and work very fast to ensure everything sticks together.
The original recipe is safe and much like our diets, the occasional treat doesn’t hurt. The birdseed mix that we usually use is called outdoor songbird mix, but this time around my other half found a huge bag of seed on sale with black sunflower seeds in the mix. This tends to attract bluejays, cardinals, nuthatches, and grosbeaks.
How to Make Bird Seed Ornaments
For these bird treats, we’ve found that cookie cutters make great molds as do mini muffin pans. If you’d like to make a larger treat that birds can actually sit in, place a glass in the middle of a small springform pan.
Regardless of which one you choose you’ll need to spray the pan with a non-stick spray, and if using a larger pan, lightly flour it as well.
Dissolve the gelatin in the warm water, let it rest 5 minutes to soften then add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Tightly pack the mixture into prepared molds pressing down firmly. It helps to use the bottom of a small glass or measuring cup or the back of a spoon to reach the funny angles and corners, ensuring a tight, well-packed treat.
To create a hole for hanging cut a drinking straw an inch longer than the height of the mold and press it into the mixture before it fully sets. Once the treats have been shaped (work quickly!) let them harden for at least 2 hours, up to 4 hours for larger molds. We generally let ours sit overnight.
Place a plate on top of the mold and gently overturn to unmold them without breaking them. Let them dry a couple more hours.
Once they’re fully dry, attach a ribbon, yarn or even a zip tie and hang them in a location where the birds are visible. Hang outside in cool weather within one day as these will spoil rapidly in the heat. Enjoy!
Note: These don’t hold up in the rain, so be sure to hang them in places that covered, such as porches or they’ll end up as birdseed cake chunks on the ground.